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Hot Wax For Bottoms Of Pots?

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I use paraffin by the case (canning wax) its just like John's Gulf wax on the east coast only west coast distributor-I order it thru my grocery store by the case.You can buy it at the market by the box.For me hot wax is for flat bottom pots. I do not use any aditives and let it dry in my hand before putting the pots down


For footed pots I use-

I also use Laguna clays

Mobilcer-A is the industry standard for was resist. Water based wax emulsion for decorating. Glaze is resisted where was is applied. This wax resist is an excellent ready-to-use product. It has the result of paraffin wax without the mess or danger of heating. Mobilcer-A is thicker than Axner Premium Wax Resist and comes with instructions on how to thin it to your desired consistency.

I buy it in 5 gallon buckets and then put it into 1 gallon plastic jars for storage.You can buy it in smaller quanitys from Axner and other outlets.

I have had zero issues with this wax-just do not let it freeze.


Edited by Mark C.
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I use hot wax on my bottoms... It works so much better than any of the brush on waxes.


I have an electric frying pan, i turn it up to 250, never higher. Then I put I half a pound of paraffin wax, and about 2 tblsp. Of baby oil, it softens the wax slightly. I then set the pots into the hot wax, take it out immediately and set it on newspaper for a few minutes. That's it, it is 100% resistant to just about anything. It also has the benefit of a nice straight line if you dip carefully.


I do this in a well ventilated room, and get everything ready to go before I turn on the wax. Then turn off the wax immediately. Paraffin fumes are toxic, so watch the temperature and make sure it's well ventilated. Hot paraffin is also flammable so watch ignition sources, and the temp. 200 to 250 seems to work best for me.

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I want to go back and reinforce my earlier post.  I use hot wax with paraffin based lamp oil in an electric skillet set on warm. This setting is around 150 degrees, so it is not really very hot.  `The paraffin lamp oil lowers the melting point and is what allows me to brush the wax on the entire circumference of a 20" platter spinning on a banding wheel in one or two passes.   You get a nice clean line and little to no clean up. 

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One other thing that has not been really covered on this topic is the dreaded 'burp" from putting smaller pieces directly in the wax at the wrong angle or too fast, 


I tend to put the piece in at a slight angle with one side going in first and slowly easing the rest of the piece in and then quickly removing it.  If you leave it in just a little too long, it actually burns off some of the wax.  I let those cool off and do them again.


 Would love to hear about tricks people have learned over the years on this technique.

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We dip moving all pots from one bat to the next that is 20 mugs say on one bat dip and transfer to a new bat-one at at a time that way no drips or missed wares. Always tilt in and out so wax does not burp.

Keep hot pan on piece od metal so fire chances are reduced. I wax outside with hot dip but I live where climate is not a rath.

I never put the piece down until its ready -that said this process is very fast. I dip to a line on my foot on flat bottom wares only

If you get a burp on side you can sand it off or burn it off or refire it off.

on a few forms I do both kinds of wax before glazing.


I hand wax with a sponge all potted pieces-(not hot dip)You can also do this fast with a sponge.


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For being able to put the freshly dipped hot piece down quickly, I put a small fan under the edge of my dipping table and position to blow straight up so that as I move the pot away from the heat and toward the plastic bat it is heading for, it passes over the stream of cool air from the little clip on fan, works wonders!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This past year I switched to hot soy wax.  I was having a lot of problems with the wax I was purchasing local and on line.  I am neurotic about an even line on the bottoms of my pots.  The wax goes on super smooth, I use a foam brush.  You could dip.  I can't get my table level enough. I use an electric skillet on the lowest setting. No bad smell when firing with the soy. and it is cheap. $5 for 8lbs.

Hi May I ask where you get your soy wax?  I too use hot wax but dont like the fumes from the paraffin,  but the bee and soy way I've found around here is prohibitively expensive.

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I get my soy wax from Amazon, too.


Though lately I'm making a lot of forms with very small feet, tripod feet, etc.  These are simpler to wipe with a wet sponge than to wax.


Beeswax would work fine, but unless you're a beekeeper on a fairly large scale, soy wax is a lot cheaper.  Paraffin is pretty bad for your lungs, and if you're smelling it, you're getting it in your lungs.  Beeswax candles are a lot more pleasant to burn than paraffin candles, and the same would be true for hot waxing.

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Guest JBaymore

FYI:  From a Beeswax MSDS:


"Respiratory: No respiratory protection is required

when working with the solid material. If airborne

concentrations of wax fumes, generated from molten wax,

are expected, a NIOSH/MSHA approved air purifying

respirator with a dust/mist/fume filter may be used.

Protection provided by air purifying respirators is limited

(see manufacturer's respirator selection guide). Use a

positive-pressure-air-supplied respirator if there is potential

for an uncontrolled release, exposure levels are not known,

or any other circumstances where air- purifying respirators

may not provide adequate protection. A

respiratory-protection program that meets OSHA's 29 CFR

1910.34 and ANSI Z88.2 requirements must be followed

whenever workplace conditions warrant a respirator's use."


"Toxicological Information:  No definitive information available on carcinogenicity,

mutagenicity, target organs or developmental toxicity."


"Hazardous Decomposition Products: Combustion

can yield major amounts of oxides of carbon and minor

amounts of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen."


"Cancer: No data available"


"Target Organs: No data available"


"Developmental: No data available"








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  • 3 years later...
On 10/2/2014 at 1:15 PM, Chantay said:

This past year I switched to hot soy wax.  I was having a lot of problems with the wax I was purchasing local and on line.  I am neurotic about an even line on the bottoms of my pots.  The wax goes on super smooth, I use a foam brush.  You could dip.  I can't get my table level enough. I use an electric skillet on the lowest setting. No bad smell when firing with the soy. and it is cheap. $5 for 8lbs.

Hey! Would you be able to share the link of where you bought this?

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@Tori Hunt, I buy soy wax from my local candle making shop, don't know if there is one in your area. Soy wax also available on Amazon, quick search brought up one supplier who has it for 5lbs for $8.98 (5th listing down). Soy wax smells far less when burning off in the kiln than paraffin wax but not as little as cold wax resist. It's also softer when dry than paraffin, if this is a problem you can add a small amount, like 10%, of stearic acid wax to the soy wax to help harden it up. 

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23 minutes ago, Mark C. said:


(where my brush can track in so i get a straight line of glaze.)

try using a  piece of cut sponge instead of a brush-much faster than brushing wax

I don't think i explained it well. The trim line isn't for wax brushing but glaze brushing. I brush my glaze on for more control and thinner layers, the trim line is for the glaze brush to track. But it does work for brushing wax but a so very rarely need wax. Even when i do dip i very rarely dip to the foot but finish with my brush.  I just hate messing with wax and the inevitable burp since my bowls tend to have a deeper foot its just faster to brush the glaze at the bottom than fix the wax burp.

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thanks, babs, for the kind words.  i read this in total and Red Rocks described how to avoid the burp in his post in 2015, above.  

i have learned a lot over the last year particularly   i  no longer use the smaller  electric  frying pan that had a layer of stacked tiles to take the wax surface higher in the pan than the original depth.  i found a much larger thing(?) that is very shallow.  (i think it was intended as a grilling surface for pancakes and such.)  that hot pan is centered on a metal tray like the kind you see at bakeries, it extends 6 inches or so in each direction beyond the hot wax and rests on metal sawhorses.   the tray  contains any spills and holds a brush i might use for wavy surfaces.

i use the wax from melted candles that come from thrift shops.  people just give things away to get rid of them, some with half burned candles, broken candles, etc.  i offer a box for the thrift shop employees to dump rejects into and then pay for them once the box if filled.  they do not mind calling me to say it is full.  and, hate to say so, but i use the thermostat set at 325 degrees F.  yes, much hotter than anyone else has posted here.  the wax is really in a thin coating inside the pan, less than a sixteenth of an inch.

i have the hot wax outside the studio and have a big fan blowing on  the surface to take fumes away.  i now leave the piece in the hot wax longer, putting 3 small things into the wax and then removing them  in the order i put them in.  a wipe across the edge of the pan removes the excess and putting the piece upside down on a wire rack a couple of steps away keeps them from dripping or running.   the fan certainly helps with this as well.

the biggest difference is that keeping the piece in the wax longer makes the wax look completely different from the shiny, waxy  surface you might be used to.   glaze does not bead on this surface as much, in fact, i cannot remember when i wiped off anything.  

sorry if this looks like a book but it takes a bit to explain clearly.

Edited by oldlady
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  • 1 year later...
On 10/1/2014 at 11:02 AM, Wyndham said:

I use a electric grill with temp control. The wax is candle wax from hobby lobby. Adjust the temp until the the wax goes liquid, but not smoking.

If you need to wax large volumes of pots, this method, with care taken, has worked for me for over 18 yrs.

The wax only needs to be about 1/8 in. We use a knife to scrape off any excess wax on the bottom.

Using wax at this temp, it's not around open flame and is not hot enough to combust on it's own.

Care must be taken with any part of a studio .


Do you use mottling wax? I would like to try this.

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